ALBANY, NEW YORK – JoAnne Natalie, age 64, of Saratoga Springs, New York, pled guilty today to misappropriating the funds of a Veteran as his appointed fiduciary, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Christopher F. Algieri, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Field Office for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General.
Natalie admitted that after being appointed as fiduciary for a Veteran, between September 2019 and January 2021, she stole, embezzled and misappropriated $50,174.42 of the Veteran’s VA benefits by using the benefits deposited into the Veteran’s bank account for her own personal ends. She also admitted to neglecting and failing to submit any required accountings to the VA, as required by law.
United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby will sentence Natalie on July 27, 2023. Natalie faces a maximum term of 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, a term of supervised release of up to 3 years, and restitution to the estate of the Veteran and any other identified victims. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
The VA Office of Inspector General investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander P. Wentworth-Ping prosecuted this case.
This case is part of the Elder Justice Initiative. The mission of the Elder Justice Initiative is to support and coordinate the Department’s enforcement and programmatic efforts to combat elder abuse, neglect and financial fraud and scams that target our nation’s older adults. Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving elders can call the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-372-8311.